I once saw an exquisite Rubens' drawing of a beautiful woman with long curly hair. The woman had what appeared to be a large, upside-down, black funnel on her head. What do I remember? The funnel-hat (which I could draw now), not really the woman at all.
Of course, sometimes a work is so wonderful that it rises above obscure or absurd inclusions. Such a painting is Pieter de Hooch's Maternal Duty. A contemporary of Vermeer, de Hooch was sometimes less skilled in perspective and proportion. But with this painting, his passages of light, his color, his gesture are all quite marvelous. Today almost no one would guess that the mother is picking lice from her child's head (a necessary practice even in spotless Dutch houses).
My painting has no funnel or (ugh) lice, but smack in the middle is a very unusual... birdbath! I bet you had no idea what it was. I so loved the maple and then the composition that I included an object I knew almost no one would understand.
Japanese Maple, Cheekwood plein air 8x10.